Sustainability News

UT Hosts Recyclympics to Encourage Recycling

In the spirit of friendly competition and going green, UT is hosting Recyclympics. Faculty, staff, and students will compete in six Olympic-style recycling-themed events and win prizes. Crowd-pleasing favorites include the phonebook shot put, plastic bottle free throw, and bottle-cap-in-a-haystack. The competition is 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on March 12 in the Humanities/Social Sciences amphitheater.

Baker Center Leads US-EU Summit on Sustainable Economic Growth

The United States European Union Summit on Science, Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Economic Growth—organized in part by UT—has produced five reports examining the critical impacts of investments in science, technology, and innovation on sustainable economic growth. The summit involved an interdisciplinary group of scientists, economists, academics, entrepreneurs and policy analysts from the US and EU and was held from 2010 to 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Brussels, Belgium.

UT Competes in Recyclemania with Paper Purge

For the third year, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is challenging the University of Florida Gators to see who can recycle the most. UT won the first year, but not the second. The Vols want a tie-breaker. The duel is part of RecycleMania, in which colleges across the nation and Canada are ranked in an eight-week competition based on the amount of recycling and trash collected each week.

Green Efforts Recognized by EPA

UT has been selected as a Top 20 green power using university by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership’s Top 20 College and University list represents the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership, and the list is updated quarterly.

High School Students Compete in Final Electric Bicycle Competition

High school students have spent this school year designing and assembling electric bicycles, or e-bikes. Now, they get to see whose bike is the best climber, most agile, and fastest. The competition is part of a grant awarded to professors within the College of Engineering by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet competition.

UT Gets Top US Building Council Award

UT has received the Green Light Award from the East Tennessee chapter of the US Green Building Council. The Green Light Award is the highest award given to an organization for advancing sustainability through green building practices and design.

UT Recycling is Making Orange Green

The spring semester is under way, and with it, a new semester of recycling at UT. The program provides services to all classroom and office buildings on campus, and collects paper, aluminum cans, and plastic, as well as compostable and other materials. Every office desk should have a blue recycling bin for paper, and there should be a blue recycling bin for paper next to every copy machine. If you notice any places where these bins are missing, e-mail UT Recycling at recycle@utk.edu.

Lighting Upgrades Under Way in Four Buildings

As classes resume this spring, you will see some big changes in the lighting in four campus buildings. As part of a comprehensive energy conservation project, work is under way in the Jane and David Bailey Education Complex; the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Building; the Student Services Building; and the Communications Building. Old fixtures are being replaced with energy-efficient lights, manual switches are being replaced with on-off sensors, and other upgrades are being done.

Engineering Team to Use EPA Award to Teach High Schoolers about E-Bikes

How likely is a new teenage driver to trade in his or her keys for an electric bike? That’s a question some UT professors are trying to answer. Together, professors from four different departments within the College of Engineering have won a $15,000 grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The grant is phase one of the EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet annual student design competition, which offers students quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life.

Students Finish First Semester of New Sustainability Major

UT is on the leading edge—a green edge. It is one of the first large universities in the Southeast to offer a major in sustainability. The interdisciplinary major offers a curriculum that enables students to learn the policy and procedures behind reducing the impact on the natural environment to create a healthy economy and meet the needs of citizens.